The deal comes under the Phase 3B of Project LAND 121 – ‘Project Overlander’ and is reported on the Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles website as being worth AU$1.58 billion dollars for the group.
Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly said the new vehicles, modules and trailers to be delivered under LAND 121 Phase 3B would see Defence acquire the next generation of vehicles in protected and unprotected configurations – representing a significant increase in safety, capability and protection for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The 2013 Defence White Paper outlined the requirement to provide around 2700 protected and unprotected medium and heavy vehicles, together with trailers and specialist modules, under Project LAND 121 Phase 3B.
These will include: medium and heavy recovery vehicles; medium and heavy tractors; heavy integrated load-handling vehicles (self-loading hook lift trucks); and medium-weight tray variants (with cranes and tippers).
“The vehicles will have enhanced performance and protection representing a significant increase in safety, as well as providing consistency across the fleet, ensuring improved efficiency in operator training and simplifying logistic support to land forces,” Dr Kelly said.
“The maintenance and through-life support for the vehicles and trailers will be undertaken in Australia and is in addition to the previously approved LAND 121 Phase 3A that is replacing the current fleet of ADF light unprotected field vehicles and trailers.
“This phase included the acquisition of around 2150 unprotected Mercedes Benz G-Wagon 4×4 and 6×6 vehicles and trailers to enable tactical training.”
The first vehicles of “Land 121” Phase 3B are to be delivered starting in 2016, with the contract due for completion in 2020.